Friday, September 25, 2009

Patent for Sabahan Food?

The Federal Minister of Tourism Datuk Seri Ng Yen Yen had suggested that Malaysia should patent some of its popular dishes.

This is rather complex, bearing in mind that some of our dishes are shared by those in neighbouring countries. For example, Nasi Lemak (popular breakfast rice) has its origins in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The popular Indonesian breakfast, Nasi Kuning (yellow rice) is also popular in Sabah's east coast.

This is not to mention many of the dishes found in Singapore, which is very similar to those found in Malaysia, especially Malaya.

If the minister has her way, then Sabah should move quickly to have its dishes patented as well through the Sabah Ministry of Tourism. We have some popular dishes too such as Mee Tuaran, Mee Goreng Basah, Hinava, Bosou, Tuhau, Lomiding, Nonsom, Tinamba, Sabah Kono Mein, Manuk Lihing, Sup Lihing, Karabau Kawah Papar, Panjaram, Kolopis, Lambam, Kuih Cincin, Putu, Ambuyat and a lot more!

Also do not forget our popular alcoholic beverages such as Lihing (rice wine), Montoku/Talak (distilled rice wine) and Bahar (coconut wine).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Does Malaysia Exist Legally?

As Malaysia celebrates its 46th anniversary on September 16th 2009, one wonders whether there is any true meaning in the formation of Malaysia. According to the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 in Part II Section 4 (1) "The Federation shall be known, in Malay and English, by the name Malaysia".

In Section 2 of the same part in the agreement, Malaysia is defined as below:

The States of the Federation shall be-

a) the States of Malaya, namely, Johore, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Selangor and Trengganu; and

b) the Borneo States, namely, Sabah and Sarawak; and

c) the State of Singapore.

From the above it can be concluded that Malaya is only a component within the Federation of Malaysia. Why then is Malaya's independence celebrated as the National Day for Malaysia?

And secondly, why does the Federal Constitution not define Malaysia Day? This is despite it being mentioned several times in the constitution, for example in Article 19 (4).

If we look at Article 160, the Federation is defined as the one established under the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1957! Does this mean, the legality of Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia can be questioned?

Sabah and Sarawak was not part of the Federation of Malaya Agreement in 1957. Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Malaya merged to form the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. But this gets no mention in the Federal constitution.

What have our Sabahan and Sarawakian lawmakers been doing in parliament the past 46 years? Sabah and Sarawak should stop being treated like mere colonies in the Federation. First, we must ensure the word Federation is defined in the Federal Constitution as the Federation that was formed under the Malaysia Agreement of 1963. Secondly, we must make sure that Malaysia Day is defined as the 16th of September 1963. And lastly, we must request that the 16th of September be declared National Day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sabahan Indigenes Could Have Become Slaves Too

As Malaya celebrates its 52nd anniversary of independence, the North Borneo Herald would like to mention an unsung hero of modern Malaya (or Peninsular Malaysia as it is popularly known today).

The person was none other than James Wheeler Woodford Birch, better known as J.W.W Birch. He was the first British Resident of the state of Perak, appointed on the 4th of November 1874. Many of those whose only acquaintance with Malaysian history are from school textbooks might wonder how could Birch be considered a hero!

After all, Malaysian textbooks teaches us that Birch was a representative of the British colonialists, and that he did not respect local customs. So, he was killed. That's what the school books teaches us.

But many are unaware that Birch was against slavery. During that period, the Malays of Perak were practising slavery. The Orang Asli (indigenes of Malaya) would be captured and sold as slaves. The pretty ones would end up as harem for the rich and powerful.

Birch was strongly against this. Please bear in mind that Britain had enacted the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833.

Birch was against the slave trade that was rife in Perak. He stopped it. Datuk Maharaja Lela, a powerful local who was involved in the slave trade was very unhappy and killed Birch. The Datuk claimed that Birch was killed because the latter did not respect local customs! What a way to get people to respect local customs!

Birch should be hailed as a hero who ended slavery in Malaya. If it was not for him, we would never know when slavery would have ended in Malaya. As for the indigenous peoples of Sabah, don't forget that if it were not for the British North Borneo Chartered Company coming to Sabah, they too could have endured what the Orang Asli endured in Perak before Birch came!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Kalabakan MP's Revelation Shocking!

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Kalabakan Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh said he has received complaints that illegal immigrants are being issued Identification Cards (IC) in his constituency.

It is saddening that despite being firmly entrenched in power in the state, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) still needs illegal immigrants to help it stay in power. Please bear in mind that UMNO is in charge of both the federal and state governments. Therefore the National Registration Department's (NRD) alleged issuance of citizenship cards to illegals must have something to do with UMNO. This is if the complaints received by the Kalabakan MP is true.

As the North Borneo Herald had said earlier, the NRD needs a total overhaul. And perhaps it is time that the Home Ministry which is in charge of the NRD be helmed by a non-UMNO MP. And the NRD too should have a non-Muslim Sabahan or Sarawakian as director. Only this can satisfy Malaysians that the NRD is being transparent. Or else NRD would be just viewed as a tool for UMNO to increase its votes illegally.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some Basic Sabahan History

It is rather unfortunate that many youths today do not know the true history of Malaysia's independence. In school they are taught that Malaysia won independence on August 31st 1957. And the North Borneo Herald has spoken to some Sabahan history teachers and find that their knowledge on the history of Sabah and Malaysia are quite shallow too.

The North Borneo Herald therefore would like to share some basic knowledge on Sabah's history to those who wish to expand their knowledge:

Original name: State of North Borneo (founded in 1881)

9th July 1963: Name changed to Sabah

31st August 1963: Sabah becomes independent

16th September 1963: Sabah together with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore merge to form a new country called the Federation of Malaysia

Kudat: Capital of Sabah 1881-1883

Sandakan: Capital of Sabah 1883-1946

The Twenty Points: Conditions set out by Sabah for the formation of Malaysia (available on Wikipedia)

Malaysia Agreement 1963: The document that became the basis for the formation of Malaysia (available from the Government Printing Office in Jalan Tuaran, KK)

30th September 1968: The name of Sabah's capital Jesselton changed to Kota Kinabalu

Henri Boniface Hermann: Man who composed Sabah state anthem

Datuk Donald Stephens: The first Chief Minister of Sabah

Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun: The first Yang Di-Pertua Negara of Sabah (not yang dipertua negeri)

1967: Sabah held its first state elections

The North Borneo Armed Constabulary: The name of the Sabah State Police before Malaysia was formed

North Borneo Herald: First newspaper in Sabah since 1883

North Borneo News: Newspaper under the British government 1946-1949

Sabah Times: The first newspaper published by a local Donald Stephens in 1949

Flags of Sabah 1881-present: (see below)

Flag of North Borneo 1881-1946


Flag of Sabah 1963-1976
Sabah Flag 1963-1981

Flag of Sabah 1976-1988
Sabah Flag 1981-1988

Flag of Sabah 1988-present
Sabah Flag 1988 to date